It’s with bittersweetness that I’m here to tell you that Chapter 13 of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is up. Bittersweet as it’s the penultimate chapter on SMITH, and I’m getting wistful already. We’re wrapping up the story in this space for a great reason: Josh needs to focus on expanding it into a full-length book which will be published by Pantheon Books in summer, 2009. We could not be happier that the story of Denise, Leo, Michelle, Hamid, Kevin, and the Doctor will be told in greater detail and reach a new audience with the help of folks who are the absolute best in the business (they published Persepolis, among others).
In this installment, “If It’s the Last Thing We Ever Do,” Denise and her family are still trapped at the New Orleans Convention Center. The NOLA police roll by in armored SWAT vehicles, with rifles loaded—but no food or water. This companion section to Chapter 12 tells the real story—from the perspective of the people who were there—of what went down at the Convention Center in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The story is augmented with audio/video clips from original sources. Chapter 13 has been up for just a few hours and the reaction has been intense. “One of the things you’ve done is to make clear how mythologies emerge out of semi-truths in a crisis,” comments Jay Landon. “To the rest of the nation it was just whiny bullshit from people too stupid to get out of the way of a killer storm. You’re uncovering how, to the people there, it was the easiest conclusion in the world based on what they experienced and felt. You can feel hopeless thirst in your pictures. Who’s gonna give you a drink? Nobody.”
As always, we urge you to leave a comment on the A.D. message boards.